I’m joining in with Bookish Friday this week, a meme created and hosted by LauReads and Niffler Reads. This weeks prompt, spookily enough, is First Lines, which is what I’ve been sharing for the last few Fridays! I’m going to feature 6 first lines this week, which may seem a strange number choice but they are all from an amazing anthology that released yesterday. It’s dark, it’s twisted and it is definitely unpredictable. I’m talking about The Institute by Dani Rene, Anna Edwards, Murphy Wallace, India R Adams, Jennifer Bene and Sian B Claven.

1 Echo by Dani Rene

It was ten years ago when my life took a turn for the worst.
It was also in those dark times that I realized I wasn’t going to be the same after what had happened. Instead of running from the darkness, I embraced it.

2. Marbh by Anna Edwards

“Marbh, we have a few new people today. Why don’t you tell them a bit about yourself?”
I don’t acknowledge the doctor talking to me. Why should I – he’s keeping me prisoner here. This is his fault. The mid-forties man with graying temples stares at me, urging me to respond. I’m not going to give him the satisifaction.

3 Hostile Illusions by India R Adams

Cruelty and all its power
Why am I the game of each hour?
Every pain, every slice…
It was not only me in this deadly vise

As I lie here, life draining from my body, there is a clarity present that is bringing me cherished peace. I smile in relief, knowing that there is truly an Evermore…

4 Mr Cat is Not Real by Jennifer Bene

The walls are breathing again, but at least they’re not whispering this time.
Dr. Nickelsen says it’s not real, that I just have to focus on something that still feels normal and push the bad thoughts away, but it’s not easy when I can hear every inahle and exhale like the volume’s been cranked up to 11.

5 Release Me by Murphy Wallace

Shit! Fuck! One moment I was getting fucked senseless by the guy that I met at the bar tonight. The next, I am on top of his lifeless body, loosening my grip on the rope around his neck. There is a broken bong laying in pieces by his head, and he is bleeding. Not again.

6 Sanitorium by Sian B Claven

The world is so bright after you’ve been enveloped in the darkness of sleep for so many hours. Molly had never been a morning person; the light streaming through the windows was not magical and awakening to her. Being pulled form the deep slumber that her medication granted her was anything but pleasant and yet, the sun streamed through the window, tugging at her eyelids to flicker open and squint at the bright world around.
Bright, but bland.

Release & Review //\\ The Institute

The Institute

by Dani René, Anna Edwards, Murphy Wallace, India R. Adams, Cassandra Faye, Sian Claven

Release: April 30, 2020

Genre: Dark Romance


Having read all the stories in the anthology, there is definitely something in here for every one who enjoys an erotic twisted story.

1. Echo by Dani Rene
I really enjoyed the idea of two completely different personalities in one body and whilst this is they type of anthology where I’m not expecting any sort of traditional HEA, the ending seemed a little bit pointless. It’s hard to explain without spoiling the story but I couldn’t understand what had led Dr Ansel to suddenly change his mind/behaviour. Where did that sudden volt face come from? I liked the story but it was just a little too disjointed/underdeveloped for me to totally love it.

2. Marbh by Anna Edwards
I really liked this, particularly in it having an antiheroine as the main focus. Again this is vague because it’s a fairly short story and – spoilers! – but I loved the reveal and thought the ending was not only brave but actually perfect. The story totally drew me in, had me fascinated and Marbh is an amazing character.

3. Hostile Illusion by India R Adams


A wonderfully tragic, dark, depraved, inspiring, heartwarming, heartbreaking story. Words, words have left me. This story alone makes the book worth buying. I really can’t say too much but it’s got such a wonderfully dark but happy ending. Beautiful, tragic, amazing.

4. Mr Cat Is Not Real by Cassandra Faye (Jennifer Bene)
Oh my word, Nina made me cry! Her desperation to be good, to go outside, to have a friend, for Tom to like her, maybe to get well enough to go home. I’m not quite sure how I feel about Dr Nickelsen and Tom. Are they truly trying to help or just taking advantage. This is such a dark, very dub-con story. In fact given Nina’s mental state it’s non-con, even if she does agree and enjoy it.
JB dragged me through a whole range of emotions with this short story, and left me sort of heart hurt and sort of hopeful. I need to give Nina a hug.

5. Release Me by Murphy Wallace
As I was reading this I wondered how the author was going to wrap things up, because it read and progressed like a full length book. Then I got to the part that said ‘end of part one’ and realised that this probably will eventually become a full length story.
However don’t be put off because the story of Dr Richard and B contained in this book is a twisted, difficult, thought provoking, well paced and very erotic read. It totally captivated me and I definitely will read the rest of the story when it’s released. I would describe it as ending at a natural break point rather than a cliff-hanger ending.

6. Sanitorim by Sian B. Claven
This is a totally new-to-me author and I have to say I was very impressed with the story of Mollie, Lizzie and James. I sort of guessed a few of the twists because of the foreshadowing but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment in anyway. Especially since there were plenty of other twists and surprises along the way.
I’m still wondering about Riley and Jana, that’s possibly the only plot hole but nothing too big and irrelevant anyway given the ending. Which I LOVED!

The Institute
Serenity is an illusion

Dear Reader, 
I trust this letter finds you well.  
It is with the utmost concern that we invite you to join us at the infamous Serenity Institute. You’ll be able to observe the goings on of the asylum, meet the patients and the doctors. We do however ask that you please be quiet. Do not interact with the patients, and respect the special treatments our doctors administer. 
This is where nightmares come alive.
A home for the shattered psyche of its patients. 
Hope is lost when they cross the threshold.  
The deranged. The demented. The unstable. 
Six stories, six authors, non-stop madness. 

Kind regards,
The Authors
Dani René, Anna Edwards, Murphy Wallace, India R. Adams, Cassandra Faye, Sian Claven

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):

Authors/Facebook Pages:
Dani René:
Murphy Wallace:
Anna Edwards: AnnaEdwardsWriter 
Indie R. Adams:
Cassandra Faye:
Sian Claven:

IVY’S POISON by India R Adams

Series: Cavalieri Della Morte Series
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release: May 2, 2019


Bors is hungry for revenge after one of his assignments spins out of control. Not only is he tortured by the man he was hired to murder, the president of a notorious and ruthless motorcycle club, but he’s also left in the care of the man’s deranged daughter, Ivy. And she knows exactly who is chained and at her mercy, the one she has wanted dead for three years.

During captivity, Bors witnesses what has become of Ivy’s life, and finds himself trapped between hatred and sorrow for his female tormentor.

“It only took one day for me to hate her more than my worst enemy.

Only took two to start planning her death.

And only three… to fall in love with her.”

Bors is an avenger. Especially Ivy’s.

My Review – 5 darkly delicious stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This book contains some very VERY dark themes. One in particular that hits a trigger for most, although we don’t ‘witness’ the event, just the aftermath. The author does go into more detail before the story and even gives you page numbers to avoid. I wouldn’t let it stop you trying what is a fantastic book, as you can skip it and not loose track of the plot.

I’ve not read any work by the author before, but if her other work is as good as this then I will be certainly be adding her to my TBR list.  Ivy’s Poison was a dark and gritty romantic suspense. I really liked both Bors’ and Ivy, at heart they are both good people who do bad things for (at least in their minds) good reasons. T here was no stepping back from the edge here, India R. Adams leads you right to the edge of the precipice and pushes you over into the fiery pits of hell. 

I’d only planned on reading a few chapters of this, however once I started this I quite simply couldn’t put it down. It really is a captivating read, sucking you down into the story and not letting you escape until the very end. The quality and style of writing are both good, the plot was intriguing and fast paced with some very unexpected twists.

I found both main characters both believable and likeable. I also appreciated how easy it was to believe in the plot, there was no ‘squinting’ in order to accept what was happening. (Well other than the whole assassin setting part). Bors is quite badly hurt at one point and I loved that we didn’t have a ‘Die Hard’ moment of the severely beaten guy getting up and wiping out a small army.

This is hands down my favourite of the Cavalieri Della Morte books so far, and it will take some amazing writing to better this one.

Buy Links: Kindle Unlimited

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